Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hate, Fear and Love

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

It is funny that knowing my process in making art does not give me much comfort when I am in the “suffering stage” of it. I know that there will be a light at the end of that tunnel, I just cannot seem to see it until I turn that mystical corner.

I started about five good-sized charcoal and pastel drawings some time ago, in preparation for my Open Studio in early February. Along with my efforts in marble, I knew that I could not get that many works finished in the time that I had, so I set my goal to develop each of the works to the point that others could have a pretty good idea of where I was headed.

The cold and rain have returned (so I carve less now) and I am able to get back to those Italian-inspired pastels. The basic idea is there for each of them, and now I work on creating the details that put a certain level of quality in my art that appeals to me (and I hope to you).

It is at this stage, when I see the work finished in my mind, but I have still the work to do, that I begin to hate the work. This is when I start dusting. Or working on taxes. Or writing my blog (ha). Or eating more than I should. Anything to procrastinate on my approach to the easel or the stone.

I know, I know, most artists want to speak of the joy in their efforts. Sure that is there, or it would be madness to continue. But there is a time during each creative effort in which the vision is mentally done, but the work is not. For a relatively short amount of time that feels like forever, I get bored with the doing. And I hate it. And I hate the work for making me feel that.

The hatred comes from fear. The fear is that I cannot create that which I envision; that I cannot live up to my hopes. Should I want to lose that kind of fear? Absolutely not! That fear is my strength. It keeps me learning. However, I must learn to face this fear, again and again. My faith that I can turn the hatred into love now comes from experience. I know that each time that I approach the easel when I feel this hatred for the task and work through it, I am one step closer to my goal.

Today, I plodded along and then … finally . . . , I got lost in the shapes and colors I was applying on a small section of the drawing. And later, it dawned on me that I was turning that corner: that glorious and familiar corner. And now, I am once again in the infatuation stage that will grow and grow until I realize that love has entirely replaced the hatred. Love has replaced fear.

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